It may not be quite as photogenic as the crowd-pleasing public appearances he made in Colorado in 2008 and 2012, but President Barack Obama’s influence on Colorado politics as a bankable asset for Democrats treading water in this bellwether state will be put to a test, as a newly revealed campaign letter showed.
“I am calling on you, [name], to have my back in this election. I may not be on the ballot, but the success of my presidency is. I know I can count on you,” Obama wrote in a letter to Denver Democrats dated October 16.
Earlier this week, Obama delivered a quote — “giftwraps another sound bite” in the words of the Washington Post — that admitted his administration and his policies would be on the November 4 ballot, even if his own name was not.
And while Democrats have relied on the President’s pull behind the scene for votes and donations, Obama noted that members of his party up for election this cycle have strong ties to the past six years of his leadership.
“The bottom line is, though, these are are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress,” Obama said.
“So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. I tell them — I said, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out,” he said.
Obama made clear his intent when the letter issued to voters from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee bearing his signature included a personal plea for his supporters to turn out in Colorado.
“Two years ago you stood up for yourself, your community, and your country by casting a ballot in the 2012 election. I want to personally thank you for making your voice heard in that election – and ask you to be a voter again,” Obama wrote.
“Thousands of your friends and neighbors are already mailing in their ballots. I need you to join your community in taking responsibility for the direction of our country by standing with me once again and voting in this election,” he continued.
Obama stressed the importance of not allowing Republicans “to reverse the progress we’ve fought so hard for,” noting that, ultimately, his own presidential legacy is at stake.
The letter did not call out any particular race or candidates by name, but did reference Republican efforts to win races in “key states” like Colorado, “to send more Republicans to Congress.”
Recent polling has found Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Udall down by nearly four points in the RealClearPolitics average to Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. The two latest polls found Udall down seven and five points, respectively.
Even though Obama hasn’t made a public visit, Democrats aren’t without recognizable faces to hit the campaign trail in the final weeks of October.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stumped for Democratic candidates this past week, as did First Lady Michelle Obama. Former President Bill Clinton is set to visit next week.
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